Harare West legislator Jessie Majome has accused some Members of Parliament (MPs) for hijacking and personalizing council projects while ignoring their stipulated mandates.
She made the remarks during the My Town Hall meeting, a first of its kind in Zimbabwe, which was organized and facilitated by Concerned Zimbabwean Citizen, an independent organization that is advocating for service delivery from MPs.
Majome said most legislators, especially those from the ruling party Zanu PF, were in the habit of hijacking petty council projects and making them their own.
“The problem we have with most legislators is that they tend to personalize council projects and pretend as if they are doing a great job.
“We have some MPs who claim they have erected street lights, they also claim to have filled potholed roads, that is not their duty, it’s the city council’s duty. It is not MPs job to personally and physically repair potholes nor even Councillors because that is what council workers are for.
“Of course they can chip in here and there with some of these things but it’s not their duty to be doing that,” said the energetic Majome who remains the most inquisitive female legislator.
She was responding to question from residents who had gathered for the inaugural meeting.
She added that most MPs are not aware of their duties hence they end up celebrating menial duties.
“There is need for education on what the mandate of the legislature is so that the electorate does not fall prey to cheap political campaigns,” she said.
She urged residents to engage with their parliamentarians and find a way forward in dealing with problems they face.
Majome took time to applaud Concerned Zimbabwean Citizen for coming up with an initiative that will most likely push the law makers to be proactive in executing their duties.
She said more of such meetings need to be organised in order to avoid a scenario where voters are taken for a ride and are only used during elections.
Munatsi Munyande, a representative of Concerned Zimbabwean Citizen said “We came up with this initiative so that we as citizens air out our concerns to the people representing them in the house of assembly. Too often we have been used during elections and when one wins, he or she never comes back to deal with the promises they would have made.
“So we are taking our MPs to task and we are demanding service delivery as promised in the hope that we will see a better Zimbabwe,” he said while adding that the initiative was apolitical but a way of demanding improved service delivery from MPs who are in the habit of neglecting their constituencies once elected in power.
Some residents who attended the meeting said the initiative was commendable as it gives them the platform to talk to their MPs in a no holds barred manner.
Said Tsitsi “We thank the MP for coming down to us and have these meetings where we tell her what we want and she gets a chance to explain to us what she can do for us and what she can’t.
“We should be meeting half way rather than a scenario where we end up feeling like we have been left out in the cold. We hope this will be a routine meeting where she will be briefing us on the goings on in both the constituency and in the House of Assembly,”
Concerned Zimbabwean Citizen plans to have more of these meetings with MPs across all political divide.